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Orlando Is the Place to Be for the PCNA 22nd Annual Symposium

Registration for the 2016 Annual Symposium is now open! Join us at the Renaissance Sea World in Orlando, Florida, on April 15 to 17, 2016, for the premier cardiovascular nursing conference of the year.


Thursday, April 14, will feature the third annual Pharmacology Preconference. Participants can earn continuing education credits while learning the latest in preventive cardiology and networking with colleagues in the field.


Topics for this year's symposium include the following:


* Strategies to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in the Hispanic Community


* Hypertension: A 2016 Update


* Brain Attack-What Now?


* Leveraging Technology for Cardiovascular Health: How Fast Are We Moving?


* Medication Reconciliation, Page 17: Just How Big a Problem Is Polypharmacy?


* Proactive Management of AFib: Prevention and Early Identification


* Plant-Based Diet: What's in It for the Planet-and the Patient?


* Obesity: Management of a Chronic Illness With Lifestyle, Pharmacologic, and Surgical Approaches


* Health of the Nation: A Preventive Focus


* Heart Failure: Hospital to Home and Hopefully Not Back


* Stress Management: Good for You, Good for Your Patient!


* Sleep, Blessed Sleep: Relationship to Cardiovascular Health


* 12-Lead ECG Interpretation: Intermediate Level



Topics for the Pharmacology Preconference include the following:


* Cardiovascular Patient With Complex Comorbidities


* Antithrombotic Agents: Antiplatelet Agents and Anticoagulants


* OTC Medications and Dietary Supplements: What the Cardiovascular Nurse Needs to Know



Registration is now open at Register before March 4, 2016, to take advantage of the early-bird rate.


Great Lakes Chapter Spotlight

The Michigan PCNA Chapter was started in 2008 by Debbie Goodall, MSN, ANP-BC, GNP-BC. It was originally the Greater Detroit Chapter, but was expanded in 2014 to encompass more of Michigan, including Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Kalamazoo. The chapter is currently led by Cathy Scott-Lynch, MSN, BSN, RN.


Cathy Scott-Lynch has been a registered nurse in the Michigan Area for more than 3 decades. She is a graduate of Western Governor's University, where she received her master's degree in nursing, and her bachelor's degree from Madonna University in Livonia. Cathy is currently employed at the Michigan Education Special Services Association and teaches cardiovascular health to its members. Cathy is also an adjunct professor at Davenport University, where she teaches nursing students. She is also an instructor for the American Heart Association. Cathy got her start in the Detroit Medical Center, where she worked for many years.


Nursing and teaching are a lifetime passion of hers and says, "Being a nurse is who I am, not what I do." She enjoys being the PCNA Great Lakes Chapter president, bringing educational programs to nurses in Michigan. Cathy feels very honored and excited to be a member of the PCNA family


Michigan is the Great Lakes State with 44 cities and 83 counties. With our PCNA membership increasing across the state, Cathy's plan is to host 3 fall CE series featuring acute coronary syndromes. They will be held in Mid-Michigan, Southeast Michigan, and West Michigan. The dates are yet to be determined and will be posted on the chapter Web page soon (


Tis the Season for a Heart-Healthy Holiday Meal

This holiday season, be a trendsetter when hosting a family gathering or putting together that potluck list of work holiday party items to bring. Seasonal, heart-healthy holiday foods recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) can easily win over guests who welcome a change from the usual high-caloric dessert temptations. The overriding theme is to decorate the holiday buffet with color.


* Plates in proportion: Serve guests a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to fill half of each plate and allow for whole grains and healthy proteins to make up the remaining 2 quarters.


* Winter veggies: Roasted sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and pumpkin are great sources of [beta]-carotene to maintain a healthy immune system and bone growth. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower can be seasoned to offer a low-calorie, high-fiber side dish.


* Fruits in season: A variety of apples, pears, and melons can be served up in salads and are always easy to find this time of year. Baked fruit frittatas are a great alternative to pies and cakes.


* Nutty alternatives: Roasted and raw nuts in small portions can be sprinkled in salads or served as appetizers. Heart-healthy options include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, and peanuts.


* Omega-rich fish: Salmon is always a hit and can be dressed up with herbs and olive oil. Mackerel, herring, and tuna are more great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.



The AHA's Holiday Healthy Eating Guide is a navigational tool to keep handy this season. Tips on portion sizes, holiday beverage alternatives, and strategies for eating with family and friends can help to reduce calories without sacrificing on flavor. For example, try filling a glass of holiday cheer with three-fourths low-fat or skim milk and one-fourth eggnog; make cider at home using low-sugar apple juice and cinnamon sticks, cloves, or nutmeg; and hot chocolate can still be an occasional treat with low-fat or skim milk. Do a twist on traditional baking by using one-half white and one-half whole-wheat flour; dried cherries and cranberries instead of chocolate chips or candies; and flavor with vanilla, almond, or peppermint instead of sugar. If holiday gatherings still lead to unwanted pounds, download the AHA's Cold Weather Fitness Guide to put any New Year's physical activity resolutions into high gear (


It's Flu Season Again!

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. The National Institutes of Health estimates deaths from 1976 to 2007 varied between 3000 and 49 000 people. The single best way to protect against the flu is yearly vaccinations. Seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Traditional flu vaccines are called trivalent as they are formulated to protect against 3 viruses: an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. Quadrivalent vaccines protect against these 3 viruses plus an addition B virus. The vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about 2 weeks after vaccination.


The National Institutes of Health, along with all major health organizations, recommends everyone 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine every season. Universal vaccination will expand protection to more people, but it is particularly important for those at high risk of serious complications from influenza. This includes anyone with a chronic illness, children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years or older, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities, and American Indians and Alaskan Natives.


A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine shows that getting a flu vaccine may reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Lead author Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and a scientist at the University of Toronto, analyzed 6 studies dating back to the 1940s concerning the heart health of more than 6700 men and women with an average age of 67 years. Half got a flu vaccine; half got a placebo shot or nothing. About a third had heart disease, and the rest had risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.


Their major findings showed that people who had received the flu shot were


* about 36% less likely to experience heart disease, stroke, heart failure, or death from cardiac-related causes and


* about 55% less likely to suffer a cardiac event if they had recently experienced a heart attack or stroke.



"Our study provides solid evidence that the flu shot helps prevent heart disease in vulnerable patients with the best protection in the highest-risk patients," Udell said. He offers several theories as to how the flu shot may help prevent heart disease and cardiac events. One is the "vulnerable plaque theory," which asserts that inflammation caused by the flu may turn a stable plaque into an unstable plaque and cause a cardiac event. Another is the "vulnerable patient theory." This suggests that the adverse effects from the flu, such as coughing, low oxygen, low blood pressure, fast heart rate, and possible pneumonia, may strain the heart and cause a cardiac event, he says. According to Udell, the study offers one more good reason to get a flu shot.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices 2015-2016 Recommendations for prevention and control of seasonal influenza were published in complete form in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on August 6, 2015. Search "What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season" for updated information.


The Great American Smoke-Out

The Great American Smoke-Out is an annual event held on the third Thursday of November to encourage Americans nationwide to stop smoking tobacco. This year it will be held on November 19, 2015. The challenge is to stop for 24 hours with the hope that each individual can stop smoking forever.


The first antismoking event occurred in Randolph, Massachusetts, in 1970. Residents of the town were asked to stop smoking for 1 day and donate the money that would have been spent on cigarettes to a local high school scholarship fund. The success of this event spread and is now an annual event that The American Cancer Society promotes.


Today, 42 million Americans smoke cigarettes. This is 1 in 5. In addition, 13.4 million smoke cigars, and 2.3 million Americans smoke pipes.


Research has shown that 2 or more methods of support to stop smoking are most successful. They include the following:


(1) smoking cessation hotlines


(2) quitting groups


(3) counseling


(4) nicotine replacement products


(5) prescription medications


(6) guide books


(7) support from family and friends



Other recommendations to avoid smoking include taking long walks and taking deep breaths, inhaling fresh air; crossword puzzles to keep the hands busy; yard work; drink water rather than coffee or alcohol that may trigger the desire to smoke; and oral substitutes such as raw carrots, apples, raisins, and gum can all help to alter the desire to smoke.


Not only has The Great American Smoke-Out been a source of great education for people about the effects of smoking on acute and chronic disease states, but it has also excited people into action to push for antitobacco policies. The first law took effect in 1990 when there was a federal ban of smoking on interstate buses and domestic flights of 6 hours or less. Then, in 1999, The Master Settlement Agreement was passed, which required tobacco companies to pay $206 billion to 45 states by the year 2025 to cover Medicaid costs of treating smokers. These are examples of some of the policies that have helped to educate Americans about the negative effects of smoking. The policies and widespread education have been credited in decreasing the prevalence of American smokers from 42% in 1965 to 18% today.


It is encouraging to all of us to see the positive effects of education and advocacy efforts and inspires us all to continue the fight!